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Facebook has received a lot of backlash during 2018 due to privacy concerns and trust issues, brought on by their own actions, and so it seems like the platform is changing direction slightly. Not only to detract from the previous bad press, but also to show users that they are being proactive after the previous criticism.

Spark AR

Remember the Camera Effects Platform? It was Facebook’s AR arm allowing developers and creators to utilise AR with their audiences. Well now, Camera Effects Platform is no more, it’s been giving a fresh coat of paint and a new name: Spark AR. The reason for the name change looks to be due to a change in direction and “to better encompass our [Facebook’s] current capabilities as well as our long-term vision”. One thing to note about the change is the lack of Facebook branding on the Spark AR website. This could be because Instagram is now being included in this AR push, but also to separate the new AR vision away from some of Facebook’s privacy hiccups in recent months.

AR Ads on Facebook

Would a new type of interactive ad get your attention and make you stopping scrolling? That’s Facebook’s hope. First announced back at the F8 conference earlier this year, you’re going to start seeing more and more of these AR ads on your feed. A great example of how this can be used to garner attention is via makeup products, allowing the audience to try on new products there and then and see what it will look like on them if they were to purchase.

Video Creation Kit

An update that will make social media managers very happy, Facebook have recently announced the new Video Creation Kit, which will let you manipulate pre-existing photo assets into mobile-optimised videos. You can access the Video Creation Kit from the Ads Manager where you’ll be able to use a series of templates to transform your content. Select a goal, from product promotion to sales, to product benefits, and product discovery (each goal has a different ad duration) and you’ll be well on your way to creating some sparkly new content.

Those are some of the biggest updates you should look out for on Facebook at the moment. We’ll be back next week with more social media news. And remember, if social media is your thing, come along to one of our Sharing Social London events to connect with some of London’s best social media professionals.